Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Psalm 32 (NRSV)
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Many times in my misspent youth I deserved to be punished for one thing or another. I recall borrowing my mother’s car a time or two without permission, and feeding the family food to the neighborhood kids like a short order cook. Mom was not a happy camper, to understate the obvious. We have all done something for which need to repent. Psalm 32 sings a song of thankfulness for forgiveness, reminding us that God has been in business of listening to our confessions for a long time.
The catch is that God also knows our hearts. Saying I am sorry but not meaning happens often in confessions. When mom found out I had taken her car, I said I was sorry. What I was really sorry about was having been caught. No matter what I did, though, mom never quit loving me nor gave up hope.
What if this thing we call life was less about sin and divine punishment and more about relationships? Maybe living as a child of God means less about fear and more about mutual respect and forgiveness. To that end, I say, “Rejoice!”
Lord, I am so thankful you are a God of relationships that I may talk to you like family. I rejoice in your willingness to forgive as I bare my soul to you, restoring our covenant of love. Amen.
Go with God.